Sunday, September 30, 2007

Followers Protect The Leader?

I was asked this question by a client who was worried about his dog being overly friendly with strangers. He wanted her to growl at people who came up to them.

"If you do that, you will make people believe she is a nasty dog." He had not considered that part.

I explained to him how much the dog pack respects the leader. Yet all of dog pack members are willing to defend the leader with their lives. They take direction without question, unless "The Man" is in trouble!

For anyone who doubts this, think about it. The head of the human household will defend his family with his life. However, if he was threatened or struck down, his entire family would work as one to defend him.

The dog does no less for his human family. My sweet, happy-go-lucky Border Collie has proven that on more than one occasion.

There's no need to make your dog mean. Just earn his respect and trust, and you will have an animal who will do anything for you!

Rena Murray

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Nothing In Life Is Free?

Nothing in life is that mean? Unfair? Asking too much?

In truth, no it is not. Not even for puppies.

Pups compete for milk right from the start. The one who fights the hardest gets the most. So the understanding of having to work for what you get is already in them.

The only free part is that fact that the mother provides the milk. The pups conk out after eating, because they spent all that time working for it!

The pups have to focus and push hard for the milk. This works both the body and the mind, taking away excess energy.

Likewise, your dog should begin his day with focused, concentrated work... 30-45 minutes, depending on your dog's needs. Swimming, running, bike riding, treadmill, walking, wearing a backpack, pulling a cart, roller-blading, running beside a golf cart... These are all healthy ways to provide your dog's needs.

Exercised dogs live longer, and they are much less prone to destructive dog behaviors, jumping, and other annoying bad dog behaviors that drive people nuts.

Please remember, if you love your dog, you will treat him like a Dog.

Rena Murray

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Thursday, September 27, 2007

What Can I Do About My Jumping Dog?

First, don't make this mistake. Here's what NOT to do with your jumping dog.

If your dog jumps all over guests like a kangaroo, do not take the easy way out and put him away... or try to teach him the "kangaroo bop." This leaves him excited, which makes him even more excited the next time a guest comes by.

How can you stop dog jumping?

Give a firm, one word correction. "Firm" means serious, not shouting or screaming at the dog. If you look, you will note that your shouting excites him more, thus making the situation worse.

Next, make the dog sit and stay in one place until he is totally calm before releasing him to say hello.

Remember, if your dog has any kind of behavior problem and you give up in the correction process at eighty percent, that is the reason he only gives you eighty percent. Dogs want to give you one hundred percent, but you have to ask for it.

Rena Murray

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Why Do Dogs Chase Their Tails?

Dog chasing tail is often a dog obsessive behavior that I am called in to correct.

Certainly, a young puppy's fascination with his tail is like a baby's fascination with his toes. So be aware that a puppy is usually just thinking, "Wow, I have a tail!" Begin to address it, though, if it starts to become a habit.

The dog obsessive behavior forms as a result of boredom, lack of physical and mental activity, and frustration. Not blocking the behavior when it is escalating can lead to this compulsion as well.

However, in some cases it is a symptom of a serious medical problem. Only your vet can determine that.

On the mental front, some of my clients claim that they have walked their dogs and seen no difference in their dogs' behavior. So they have come to accept that "this is the way he is."

The fact is, if you are not having your dog focused on you, then he automatically gets excited about everything around him and stays excited. When you have your dog focus, he works his mind and relaxes.

"No tail chasing, Spot!"

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How Do I Stop Puppy Biting Me?

So you have a biting puppy?

Puppy biting and dog bite are common problems people face with young, high energy dogs.

In a dog pack, this is corrected early. Puppies in a litter correct each other by screeching and nipping each other when they get too rough.

So if your puppy is biting and nipping, use this dog instinctive behavior and the signals that will seem natural to the pup. Scream and turn away from him for 10-15 seconds. Then start the game again.

If the puppy bites again, promptly cry out and turn away from him yet again. He'll get the idea.

Your scream should be like the yip of a hurt puppy, not so loud it scares your dogs to death.

No Dog Bite!

Rena Murray

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Why Do Dog Show Handlers Put Dog Food In Their Mouths?

I was asked by a friend, "Why does a handler at dog shows tend to be taking a piece of food out of his mouth and giving it to the dog?"

According to the judge, it helps keep the dog focused on his dog handler instead of his surroundings. And because the food is at a level that's up from the dog's view, the animal ends up staring upward at his handler.

What some people do not think about is the natural dog instinctive behavior in a dog pack. There the adult dogs regurgitate food for the pups once they are weaned, and continue doing this for a while before the pups can share the kill. So of course, this act is familiar to them.

Let me make one thing clear, though. I go to great lengths for my dogs. But I do not place dog food in my mouth! Your breath would not smell very good!

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dog Whisper Tip - When Your Little Dog Is Bullied

What happens when small dogs get bullied by larger dogs? Most people step in and pick up the little guy, trying to comfort him because of the trauma he just went through.

What most people do not realize is that petting an animal who is under stress only reinforces and nurishes the dog's stressed feeling.

Here's a Dog Whisper Tip.

The correct way to handle this kind of situation is to block the attacker and calm him down. Then make him smell the little guy's rear. This removes the trauma from both.

And once your dog has calmed down, give him all the affection you want!

Rena Murray

P.S. It's usually not the big guys who start it, either.

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Dog Health Care Tip - Preventing Dog Gas

I am going to be frank. Everyone passes gas from time to time. And everyone's gas has an unpleasant odor, too.

But it is no secret that when our canine friends do it, it really makes the eyes water! And, can you believe the nerve of that dog to look at you as though YOU did it?

Well, the look I am afraid I cannot assist with. However, the gas itself is very preventable. Change the dog's diet to an all natural dog food.

For those of you who are facing this problem, here is some food thats really works! It's an all-natural wellness dog food that gives your dog sweet breath, a gleaming coat, with great dog health! (It's on Dr. Andrew Jones' short list of approved dog food.)

Ahhh... Fresh air!

Rena Murray

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Dog Whisper Method - Red Zone Case

Why do people who use the "Dog Whisper Method" ask the owners of "Red Zone" dogs to leave the room when they are working with them?

The reason is, the owner has become the source of power for the dog. With the owner not in the picture, it is easier to accomplish the first steps of rehabilitation.

Also, most people panic when their dog shows aggression. Panic intensifies this, and puts the handler at much greater risk.

Rena Murray

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Dog Health Care Tip

If your dog is having loose bowel movements, feed him some rice cooked in chicken broth instead of water. This will soothe his system and help bind him up so he can recover.

This works like a charm.

My friend had a Golden Retriever with a very delicate tummy, and this simple thing worked wonders for her!

Rena Murray

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Dogs Eating Chocolate

Is it really true that dogs eating chocolate can kill them?


If your dog eats some, instantly give him peroxide to induce vomiting. Just be aware that he will vomit right away.

Another thing that will cause very swift vomiting is white potatoes. A dog can eat the sweet potatoes, but never the white. He will throw up!

Rena Murray

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Who does not love Lassie?

Okay, I know some people are out there. But I have seen just about every Lassie movie there is. I love the innocence and simple courage of the show as well.

I think "Lassie Come Home" is my all time favorite. But once again, I have a different point here.

"Pal" was the original Lassie. He was an undersized Collie that Robert Weatherwax took in when his owner refused to pay his dog obedience training bills. This little dog became one of the most well known canines in history!

Some of these shelter dogs really turn out great, don't they?

Rena Murray

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Old Yeller - Shelter Dog?

Old Yeller was one of my favorite movies as I was growing up, and it remains so. That is a story of courage, selflessness, and triumph.

But I am writing this to make another point.

Spike was his real name. He was abandoned at a shelter. Who would believe that such a dog would star in "A dog of Flanders," appear in many of the "Lassie" series, and and as I said, "Old Yeller?"

Not too bad for a dog who was unwanted, eh?

Rena Murray

P.S. Want to see another wonderful shelter dog? Check out Gatsby at Dog Whisper With Rena on Squidoo.

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Dog Attack..For Real or Bluff?

Usually, a dog who is barking at someone does not really want to do a dog attack on that person. So how do you know if the dog is full of bluff, or he is really going to give you a dog bite?

Two of my neighbors' dogs are perfect examples. Sam barks loudly with her tail raised and her ears up. Her ears are not forward, which means she means no harm. She is just saying, "This is my territory."

At this point, one should stop, make eye contact, and move forward a few steps. Once she turns her back, you may move on. NEVER turn your back on a dog in this circumstance until he has done so first. This means he has surrendered to you. Otherwise he might chase you.

Dog body language is saying "Dog Attack" for sure when the dog's tail is up like a flag and the ears are forward.

Also, WATCH OUT for the dog who shows no emotion. If the dog is aggressively charging you, hold your ground and steady confident eye contact.

Remember, never go away before he turns away.

Rena Murray

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Lady and the Tramp

Most of us have seen "Lady and the Tramp" ... Lady, the adorable Cocker Spaniel Puppy sneaking into Jim Dear and Darling's room, and quite promptly hopping in the bed.

"Just for tonight," Jim Dear says firmly, tucking her in..

At six months old, Lady still sleeps in the bed...

How many of you thought, "The puppy would feel less lonely if he spent the first night with me?"

Then you get very comfortable with that nice little bundle curled up at the end of the bed, or the soft, furry little thing snuggled sweetly next to you.

Well, if you get any kind of dog that grows very big, it may be YOU who has to curl up at the bottom!

And those little ones? Before too long, they start getting up when THEY want to.

Just for everyone to know: In the wild, all dogs have their own sleeping space. They are in the same den and in close proximity to each other, but definitely with a nice amount of space.

So your puppy will adjust quite well to his own bed right from the beginning.

Please don't fall for that "just for the night" thought.

Rena Murray

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dog Bite on the Butt

Many people who have been bitten by dogs are often bitten on the rear end. And, all the person is trying to do is get away from the situation. What a place for a dog bite, too!

So why a bite on the butt?

If you think about it, turning your back on a dog who is not relaxed is making your rear a perfect target.

This is another reason that knowing Dog Whispering and Dog Body Language is important. Knowing what the dog is saying can save your butt! (literally)

Rena Murray

P.S. Turning your back on a dog before he has surrendered to you puts him in "prey drive." That is much more dangerous than his natural dog instinctive behavior to chase. This is why you have to learn dog body language and to address and take care of a situation before you move on.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Dog Play Bow

What does it mean when your dog greets you by bowing down and placing his rear in the air? Not to mention he is growling and/or barking?

That, my friends, is what we call the play bow among dogs. The barking and growling are ways of releasing excitement... not threatening to people ... and is a very clear invitation to play!

So what are you waiting for?

Rena Murray

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Sam the Police Dog

One of my favorite stories about a police dog was one that aired on Animal Planet again a few days ago.

Sam had a deep bond with her human partner. They had been working together for some time. Sam was always on time and obeyed her handler promptly. However, the woman was about to get a first hand look at just how deep the devotion of her partner ran for her.

She and Sam were in the middle of a random drill as a real call came in on her radio. A murder suspect was loose, and she and Sam were in close proximity. They went straight to the location. Sam struck the man's trail and was right on his tail in a matter of seconds.

The suspect was desperate to avoid being caught, and looked at what appeared to be his only way out. A nearby bridge. The water was a long way down and filled with mud and concrete. A sure recipe for disaster.

The handler commanded Sam: "Get Him!" - confident that the man would not jump.

The suspect did. And, Sam went right after him. There was silence for a moment as they both hit the water. As the handler ran toward the riverbank, she kept calling Sam's name, but doubted they would even be able to find the bodies.

Then the suspect appeared, franticly swimming for the shore. Sam was not far behind. He tried to force Sam's head under, but she overpowered him and pinned him on the riverbank.

Needless to say, the dedication of Sam the Police Dog was never questioned again!

Rena Murray

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sarge the Police Dog

If your dog isn't working out for you, maybe this might work.

Beazel is a German Shepard. Originally, he was named Sarge. Purchased by a single woman with two teenage sons to guard their home when they were gone.

Sarge became an increasingly aggressive dog from day one. By the end of two weeks, the whole family was afraid of him. He had not bitten anyone, but his behavior was scary. Instead of throwing her hands in the air, the owner searched for someone who could train police dogs.

Sarge went with the dog trainer. Three months later some K9 handlers came to see if he might be a likely candidate for their unit.

These men were so impressed by Sarge's natural ability for the work, that they took him to police dog training camp that day.

Sarge's handler was so impressed by his uniqueness, that he renamed him Beazel. "No other police dog has that name," He said.

Most of the time the K9 handlers require that the dogs be in training for at least six months before taking them. So the fact that Sarge was taken so quickly says a lot!

If your dog is showing tendencies you can't control, it means that you need to have some professional evaluations done. If his calling is like Sarge's, you don't want to keep him away from it.

By the way, dogs like that never make it in families! They do great with the handler's family after work, but they can become very hostile if they have no proper outlet. Love doesn't satisfy a desire to work.

Rena Murray

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11th, 2001

I think most people remember without a prompt what happened September 11th, 2001. I have a few simple things to say.

What happened that day was a tragedy and an act of war.

1.A Let us always remember the courage displayed by the passengers and crew of FLIGHT 93, who put aside concerns for their own personal safety and stopped their plane from being used as the next deadly missile that would have taken thousands of lives.

1.B Remember the firefighters and medical personnel who went in at their own risk to get people out of there.

2. We were and are justified in fighting back.

3. We need to reclaim the personal freedoms that have been taken from us. The ones that were taken by a handful of people who saw this as an opportunity to move in on a weak time, using the tragedy for their own gain.

4. Let us use this day to think of all the people that we can who have given their lives for this country, for others, are self sacrificing, and have performed the simplest act of mercy.

5. Our current focus in the media is death...all the awful things that happen every day. But if we think for a moment, great things happen everywhere, too.

6. Think about how many people were late to work that day and were not killed. How many missed their flights.

Thanks to all who have done the good things of which I speak. Your courage is not forgotten or unnoticed.

Rena Murray

P.S Oh yeah. Let us not even think about trying to blame God for this, when countless warnings from different sources were sent to us. When the death toll was a fraction of what it normally would have been at that time of day...

In spite of the fact that we constantly tell God to "Get out," He still sent warnings, prevented thousands of people from being at work at that day and time, and saved people that otherwise wouldn't have been found. How about Stairway B? Come on, now. Nobody would have found that without His intervention.

P.P.S. Remember Daisy the guide dog? She save 962 lives by running in three times.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Dog Whispering - More Consistent and Effective Than Positive Reinforcement Training

The most important rule of dog whispering is to remember that dog whispering is about seeing things from the dog's point of view.

I once heard a child say, "Mommy, does dog whispering mean you whisper in the dog's ear?"

What people don't realize is that by not taking time to observe dog behavior, through positive reinforcement we are often creating dog behavior problems.

Think about it.

If Rusty jumps on you, and you remove the paws gently saying, "No, no," very sweetly, that's not serious. So as far as he's concerned, you agree with the behavior.

It's the same with getting on the bed, or the sofa. If he gets up there and nobody removes him, he sees that as saying he can get up there any time he wants to.

It is for this reason that I do not like positive reinforcement training at all. It sends too many mixed messages.

The biggest mistakes I see made are rewarding bad dog behavior with affection, or simply ignoring it and thinking that with time it will go away.

Behaviors you don't agree with have to be addressed promptly and firmly. I'm not talking about being mean. There's a big difference between being mean and being firm.

Dog whispering means listen!

Rena Murray

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Response To Your Dog Humping Problem

This is directly for the poor person who left the comment on my blog today, but it is a message which others of you need to heed, also.

Your dog humping anything is not a "normal behavior" or a sexual behavior. It is a dog dominance behavior. The fact that she is spayed has nothing to do with this situation.

She rules the house, and is making it clear by barging in and asserting herself in even the most intimate of times.

What should you do?

Contact me or someone else with my qualifications ASAP. Rest assured, the problem can be fixed. But you cannot do it by yourself.

However, if left unattended, this kind of dog dominance problem will get worse... and often leads to aggression.

You wonder, "How should I ask the vet to deal with this?"

You don't. A vet is not going to be able to give you answers to a problem like this. This is a psychological problem that cannot be corrected with drugs or any kind of homeopathic remedies that a vet can offer.

Nor can a "dog trainer" with reward-based and collar-training approaches bring out what you need.

Rena Murray

P.S. To reach me, go to the CONSULTATIONS page on my website, . In any event, let me know that you got help.

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Saturday, September 08, 2007

Welcome Home by a Jumping Dog!

Welcome home!

That's what you think your wildly jumping dog is saying. But in reality, why does your dog do this?

Dog jumping is an excited dog behavior. Sorry, it's not a sign that your dog really missed you.

Dog jumping is not a desired wild dog behavior, either. Imagine your nice business suit getting ripped by your excited dog's claws.

Or maybe your friend has brought her baby over, and the dog knocks the little one down.

What if the dog jumping trips you up and you break an arm or leg? That's happened to a friend of mine, and she almost didn't walk again. It was a year and a half before she could go upstairs on two feet in her own home.

Cute behaviors are ones that do not harm anyone. But what is cute about an accident waiting to happen?

Get help to stop any jumping dog behavior. Your family and friends will thank you for it. And you can come home safely and happily to an affectionate, respectful pet!

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Friday, September 07, 2007

"That's My Baby" - What a Show!

I once saw a woman on Animal Planet who decided that she was going to have her pregnant dog wed the sire of her pups. She gathered all her friends with dogs of the same breed and dressed everyone in gowns and other appropriate attire.

There was a dog-safe cake and toy presents... not to mention new clothes and brushes for the female guests. Trying to get everyone seated to avoid playing was a little harder than they planned.

The owner was really in for a shock. Here the bride was, right in the middle of the wedding vows ... when the groom suddenly charged away from her side for another b*tch in heat. He was just about on top of her! The guests were horrified!

And the bride didn't even care.

Moral of the story: Matrimony is a human institution, and it has nothing to do with animals or dog instinctive behavior! Your dog is a DOG, not a little person! ... not even if you put clothes on him.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Does the "Dog Whisper Method" Really Work on a Red Zone Case?

Some people really question if the Dog Whisper Method will work on a "red zone" dog aggression case.

I speak from personal experience, because I use the Dog Whisper Method. It DOES work! The crazy ones are the "dog whisper wanna-be's" that don't know what they are doing.

A red zone case is nothing to fool with. Any dog is capable of inflicting serious damage; however, these are the dogs that WILL inflict it. Being struck with a level 3 or more dog bite is like having several electric shocks sent through your body at the same time. The use of the injured body part is limited for a few hours up to a few days, and may require a trip to the emergency room.

The Dog Whisper Method has saved the lives of many dogs who would otherwise be euthanised. Dogs on whom Dog Trainers gave up in despair. After all, no amount of customary "dog training" can begin to solve these psychological problems!

I found a couple of things the "Dog Whisperer," Cesar Millan, has done to be crazy by my definition. But I am not going around slandering him, because I don't want people to do that to me. He does a lot of good things, and has saved a lot of dogs.

There are several of us out there who know how to do these methods. The message is not to knock the Dog Whisper Method, but to knock trying to do what you do not know how to do ... And not knowing when the dog has really had it ... And when and how to stop, to touch back ...

The results can be lethal!

Rena Murray

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